Chassis parts and suspension ideas: Rea’s busy test day at Portimao leaves him P7

Tuesday, 30 January 2024 17:20 GMT

With his first test in Yamaha blue bagged, Rea’s third overall test with his new team sees him look to work on refining small details and getting fully comfortable on the bike

Preseason testing in Europe is done; the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is another step closer to bursting into action at Phillip Island, meaning Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) is a bit closer to his debut for the Japanese manufacturer. Two days of testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is over and whilst Rea was only seventh overall on day two, he’ll be happy to have had good mileage under his belt.

138 LAPS IN TOTAL: productive Portimao testing for #65

In the official blue colours for the first time instead of the black testing livery, Rea had an eventful day when he suffered a technical issue, bringing out the red flag. The six-time World Champion returned to the circuit, with 64 laps completed, he can be proud of a solid days work and getting acclimatised at a different track. Previously, Rea had only tested at Jerez but now with a total of 138 laps in Portugal, he has experience aplenty across the rollercoaster circuit.

“OUR OUTRIGHT SPEED, WE NEED TO IMPROVE” – race pace gains but one-lap lacks

Speaking after the second day, Rea stated: “The guys need to check exactly what happened but I just came to a halt at Turn 1; we parked that bike for the day, so lost a little bit of time with what happened and then obviously, we only had one bike for the rest of the test. We focussed on our workload again, confirming the bike and I’m not completely satisfied with the feeling out there. I did a longer run to understand the tyre drop but I got faster and faster during that, so there’s some positives.

“I think our outright speed, we need to improve a little bit. I wasn’t completely comfortable so we’re still working to find that optimum setup for that style; it’s our first time here at Portimao together and the bike was behaving a little bit differently to what I was used to do. There’s work to do for everybody but I am happy, confident and relieved that testing has finished.

“WE’RE IN THE BALLPARK” – optimism for Rea ahead of Australia

Talking about what was tested, the six-time World Champion explained: “We tested some suspension ideas, some chassis parts and normal, test items. We experimented with geometry and setup, just running through the ideas we had to improve our feeling. I haven’t done a full weekend at Portimao on the Yamaha so I was starting from a Jerez-based setup and we ended up somewhere similar to that. We’re in the ballpark but I think we can fix that right now and continue working on that in Phillip Island.

“The items were positive, step-by-step we are trying to understand how the tyre behaves, an area we are trying to focus right now, to give me some traction as I pick up the bike. Some ideas and parts were better, some were the same and not too different. We’ll keep working with that and see what we can do in Australia.”

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